How to store a Leather Jackets
When the weather gets warmer, you’ll have to find a way to store your leather jacket so that it stays usable for years. Taking good care of your leather jacket can keep the material supple and healthy for a long time. There are a couple of ways to store your leather jacket, but it’s important to clean it up before doing so!
Part One of Three:
Cleaning The Jacket
Wipe off the leather with cold water and cloth. Only use enough water to get the cloth damp, as too much water can damage the leather. Gently rub the washcloth in a circular motion on the jacket, making sure to clean all parts evenly.
Never machine wash your leather jacket. It is an organic fabric, meaning too much moisture can crack, stain, or warp the material.
Apply leather conditioner with a cotton swab to keep the material soft. Conditioner keeps the leather moisturized and prevents it from drying out and cracking. Use a small amount of the conditioner and evenly coat your jacket using the cotton swab. If you put too much conditioner or use it more than once every few months, it will damage the integrity of the fabric.
A good rule of thumb is to apply the conditioner once every 2-3 months.
Wipe off any excess conditioner with a dry cloth.
Treat minor stains with lukewarm water and detergent. Take a washcloth and dampen it with lukewarm water. Then, add a pinch of detergent to the stain itself and gently wash it out with the cloth. Make sure to wipe away all detergent and water so the jacket is dry and clean.
If you add more than a small amount of detergent, it could damage the jacket.
Take your jacket to a professional to remove big stains. There are professional cleaners who specialize in leather and suede garments and can get rid of large stains and strong odors. Check with your local dry cleaner to see if they can take care of your jacket before contacting a specialist.
Stains and spills that go untreated will oxidize and become impossible to remove. This is why it’s so vital to clean your jacket entirely before storing it.
Part Two of Three:
Protecting the Jacket from Damage
Stuff the insides of your jacket with acid-free paper. This protects your clothing from dirt and dust. Put paper in the sleeves and pockets of your jacket and close all buttons and zippers after doing so. Not only does acid-free paper create a barrier between your jacket and dirt, dust, and moisture, it helps the jacket keep its shape for the next time you want to wear it.
You can pick up acid-free paper at your local office supplies store. You can also order some online.
Wrap your jacket in a breathable fabric to keep it supple. One way to do this is by putting it in an old white bed sheet around your jacket. You can also use a cloth garment bag, or a bag made with netting. Do not use a plastic bag to store your jacket because the fabric will dry out.
Make sure to wash the bed sheet before wrapping the jacket in it.
Never fold your jacket to fit it in a bed sheet. This will crease the material and make it nearly impossible to return the jacket to its original shape.
Hang your jacket on a wide hanger that is wooden or padded. A wide hanger can properly support the shoulders of your jacket so it doesn’t droop and keeps its shape. Use a cedar wooden hanger or a padded hanger because they are strong enough to hold the jacket’s weight.
A thin hanger made of wire or plastic is too light to properly hold a leather jacket.
Cedar wooden hangers can remove light odors that reside in the lining of your leather jacket.
Put your jacket in a non-plastic storage container. If you don’t want to hang your jacket up, or don’t have enough closet space to properly store the clothing, simply place your jacket in a wooden trunk or a suitcase. Lay your jacket flat in the storage container so it doesn’t crease. If you’re using a wooden trunk, make sure there is a gap between the lid and the base of the trunk to let air flow in and out. When it comes to a suitcase, keep it unzipped to allow air to come in and out.
Never store your jacket in a plastic container. The leather will not be able to breathe and won’t last nearly as long as you’d like.
Part Three of Three:
Putting the Jacket into Storage
Keep your jacket in a dark area away from direct sunlight. Leather jackets expand when exposed to heat. Once this happens, you cannot shrink the jacket or restore it to its former shape. Heat can also cause the leather to dry out and crack. Keep the jacket away from exposed light bulbs and warm areas of the home.
Exposing it to direct sunlight fades the leather and leads to discoloration.
Store your jacket in a dry, cool area. Moisture on the jacket can cause mildew and mold to grow, so make sure the jacket is protected from wetness. If you live in a humid climate, you can put a dehumidifier in the closet to remove the water from the air.
You won’t be able to put a dehumidifier in a storage container, so if you want to put your jacket in a non-plastic container, you have to make sure your home isn’t humid.
Take your jacket out of storage for a couple of hours every few weeks. This will extend the life of your jacket. While leather can be stored for months at a time without deteriorating, it still needs to be aired out every once in a while. Take the leather out of its storage place and breathable fabric and let it sit on your bed for a few hours to give it some air.
You do not need to remove the acid-free paper on the inside when you air out your jacket.